The open source SIDE-Labs project is a set of graphical tools and server extensions to help System integrators and Alfresco developers to produce powerful Alfresco application easily, without writing a single line of code. However, there are integration points to add customized code and features when needed.
SIDE-Labs is an open source project distributed in GPL v3.
Developing an application is a repetitive scenario in 5 steps:
Input (store and input)
Browse (navigate and view)
Analyze (reports and Business Intelligence)
SIDE-Labs aims at providing graphical tools for each step except Analyze one because lots of designers are already available (Birt, Jasper Reports, ...). To achieve this goal, following designers and diagrams editors are available:
Requirements Diagram: to design user requirements and generate call of tenders, tests, ...
Class Diagram: to design content-types, aspects and constraints and generate content model
Form Diagram: to design the way you want to display fields in forms (order, layout) and generate corresponding forms
Workflow Diagram: to design processes, add actions on transitions and generate corresponding jPDL and Alfresco configuration
View diagram: to design the way you want to display document and metadata list (order, list type) and generate corresponding xml configuration
Portal Diagram: to design the final structure of your application and generate Liferay or Alfresco Share portals
Besides these graphical tools SIDE-Labs provide server extensions:
SQL for Alfresco: to access Alfresco through JDBC, write joins, reports
Facet navigation: to navigate in metadata in a very intuitive way
Advanced forms components: to produce very easily beautiful forms
In short, SIDE generates :
the content model, based on data diagrams, which describes content types, aspects and relationships beetween them
the web client configuration, which means how each element will be graphically represented (labels, constraints, widget types - check box, drop down lists, ...)
the templates which will be used to view documents in a personalized way
all the configuration files for advanced BPM in Alfresco, from jPDL file to data model, message properties and web client configuration related to workflows
all the required JSP (forms templates, dashlets, lists, webscripts, ...)
These automatic generations enables you to be more productive and less error prone than configuration file edition by hand for types, aspects, workflows, templates, ...